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Rare battle report written by General Charles Devens about the Battle of Fair Oaks on the Penninsula in 1862.  This copy belonged to General Henry S Briggs and has pencil notations on the document.  Great first hand information about the battle from a commanding general on this retained copy.   11 Pages bound by silk threads.   Partially..."Head Quarters 3d BrigadeCouch’s Division, Keyes Corps.June 2, 1862Captain,In regard to the part taken by this brigade, in the action of Saturday, May 31, I have the honor to submit the following preliminary reportIn consequence of firing at the front from the line, occupied by General Casey, the brigade, consisting of the 7th and 111th Mass Regiments in the 36th N. York (the 2d Ro. Island being on detached service) was put under arms at about 1:30 PM and moved forward to the Cross Road to the Fair Oak station where the 111th Mass. Col. Briggs, was first posted in front of the Battery of Artillery, commanded by Capt. Flood ( Co. Penn. Artillery) after remaining in this position a short time, the 111th Mass. was moved forward to the left side of the Richmond Road, behind some rifle pits and in front of the battery on that side of the road and the 36th N.Y. Col. _____ was thrown forward on the right side of the Richmond Road in front of the Fair Oaks Road, where are the right of the regiment, was screened from the terrible fire of the enemies artillery at this point by some rifle pits; but the left was exposed and suffered in consequence severely. Soon after, an order was received directing that I should send the 7th Mass. Col. Russell, over to the right, which was immediately complied with; after which time, that Regt. was not under my immediate command during the action. At about 4 PM the line of Gen. Casey there having been driven in front, and an ineffectual attempt to recover some portion of the ground, having been made 55th N.Y., an order was received from Gen. Keyes that the 111th Mass. should advance up the Richmond Road through the felled trees, and endeavor to hold the ground in front. Col. Briggs moved accordingly up the road by the flank, and deploying as soon as the ground permitted, across the road, so as to move forward by the the front, found himself immediately sailed on the left, flank and rear, by heavy valleys of musket tree, showing the enemy to have outflanked inconsiderable force, the position occupied by him. Col. Brigs gallantly struggled by changing front with a portion of the left wing of the regiment to present a front to the enemy, which should at least enable him to maintain his position. From the nature of the ground, entirely covered with fallen timber, it was not possible for him to effect

General Charles Devens Battle Report Fair Oaks 1862

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